Is a classic car still 'classic', if it's converted to electric?

Updated: Feb 13, 2020

A group dedicated to preservation of classics, say EV conversion is a sin. Do you agree?

Have you ever heard of FIVA? It stands for Federation Internationale des Vehicules Anciens, or in layman's terms, international federation of historic vehicles. Near the end of last year (2019) it launched a blistering attack on the growing number of classic cars being converted to electric

So projects like the Aston Martin works DB4 Electric, Jaguar E-Type Concept Zero. FIVA are not happy, they are not happy at all!

In a statement from FIVA, the body, which is like the RSPCA but for old cars, says "With an increasing number of commercial outfits, offering to converting historic vehicles to run on electric power, replacing the entire drivetrain with an electric unit and batteries".

"Conversion of Historic Vehicles from their original internal combustion engine to electric power doesn't comply with the FIVA definition of a historic vehicle, nor does it support the goal of preserving historic vehicles and their related culture. In FIVA's view, vehicles so converted cease to be historic vehicles, unless they are subject only to 'period in' changes".

Ouch! FIVA classifies any car that is over 30 years old, historically correct (ie, no 250 GTO's with flames painted down the sides) and not used daily as an 'historic' vehicle. And lo, it has decreed that, although it understands why owners may want to make their pride and joy more 'eco-friendly'. "Any owner, motor engineer or manufacturer choose to make such conversion to a historic vehicle, FIVA would strongly recommend that any changes made are 'reversible', with all the original components marked and safely stored. In this way, the vehicle may - if so desired in the future - be returned to its original state and once again become an historic vehicle".

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